Playing a solo game with a whole party of PC’s can be quite rewarding. It can also be a headache trying to determine each PC’s action or reaction to the events. The Ensemble Cast CRGE framework still allows for the playing of multiple PC’s in one game, but it splits the focus of each PC.
The first thing the framework needs is a strong Thread. What story are you trying to tell? Does the story revolve around an empty throne? A murder? Someone winning the lottery? A monster rampaging the countryside? Whatever the case, the Thread should be broad enough to affect a region (e.g., the King’s courtiers, the city, the barrens, etc.).
Now make or set the PC’s. The second thing that this framework requires is PC’s able to provide differing perspectives from different points-of-view. If there is an empty throne (hopefully attached to drama or a mystery), the PC’s should come from many different origins. One could be the prince heir-apparent, while the other could be the omega of the family that would never see the throne. Another PC might be a foreigner trying to understand this kingdom’s weird cultures. The PC’s should all be at arms length from each other. Having all the PC’s be allies of like minds and like principles will lead to a boring story.
Finally, each scene will promote a single PC. This does not mean the other PC’s are absent, but they definitely fade in to the background. It is better in this framework if a PC has a social conflict with an NPC, and then another PC has a social conflict with the same NPC than to have PC vs. PC conflict. Each PC should get one scene per round.
The trick is to carry on the momentum of one scene in to the next. Allow for ripples to be a bit excessive. Allow for any news or discoveries made by one PC to leap to the other PC’s in their scenes. Keep things flowing.
The following are a few example setups for the Ensemble Cast CRGE framework:
(1) The Empty Throne – however big or small the kingdom, from a McDonald’s CEO to the Godking of the Solar System to even the local liquor store’s manager, when the seat of power is vacated things happen.
Sample Stereotypical Cast: the heir apparent, the Court’s omega, the foreigner, the rival ruler, the interested authority
(2) A Simple Murder – the death of human causes untold ripples in any genre.
Sample Stereotypical Cast: the deceased’s relative, the detective, the secret relation to the deceased, the murderer
(3) Starvation – the resources the PC’s rely upon whether magic leylines in wizard hallows, recycled oxygen on a starship, or blood from the herd of humans, begins to dry up.
Sample Stereotypical Cast: a leader, a catalyst for change, a survivor, a locust